I was glad we took the daunting drive down to the seafront at Bonchurch, a small suburb next to Ventnor. We came across the studio of Andrew Bristow, a potter who has been working on the Isle of Wight for many years. His pottery is very pretty and I couldn't resist buying a few items to take home. Opening hours vary so call ahead before arriving.
ISLE OF WIGHT - IN A TIME WARP?
"OFF TO VENTNOR"
I've always wanted to visit the Isle of Wight. I think the film, 'Mrs. Brown,' reinforced that wish a few years ago although I wonder how much was actually shot on the island. We finally got there in May, 2006 and thoroughly enjoyed our two nights and 3 days of wandering around. It's a large island with several good-size cities. In between there are miles of green fields, golden rape and all around there is the sea and the beautiful cliffs. We found some very good restaurants, a wonderful B&B and much to see. Nothing seems to have changed there in probably 50 years - a typical, British seaside resort place. It was good for the soul.
Most beautiful of all was Osborne House, home to Queen Victoria and her family for many summer vacations. In sharp contrast was Castle Carisbrooke - an ancient home and the last place Charles i was imprisoned.
The island is host to a great many festivals throughout the year - walking in May and the famous music festival, too.
Isle of Wight....
You can get on the ferry at Southampton. We used the ferry at Lymington. Only half an hour or so, but then, the ferry is very slow!
You cross from the mainland, through the Solent, and into Yarmouth harbour.
On the left as you land, there is a restaurant called Gossips, ( I think)!!!
Lovely food and pretty good prices too.
All the fish is freshly caught that morning, so you will be hard pressed to argue over the menu.
They cater for vegetarians and carnivores alike.
Although the Isle of Wight is roughly 22 miles wide and around 18 miles across, the scenery is stunning. From the south of the island, on a clear day, you can see the coast of France.
The Isle of Wight has it's own theme park, Blackgang Chine. A zoo in Sandown. You can also visit the coloured sands at Alum Bay, and venture on the chairlift, if you don't fancy the walk to the beach.
There is also a small fortress overlooking the needles, just above Alum Bay.
"VIEWS OF OSBORNE HOUSE"
More information is to be found on my tip above. These are some photos of our visit to this beautiful home and gardens. It's easy to see why Victoria adored it and so did her many offspring. Sadly, no photos are allowed to be shot inside the house, but go for yourself and see the interesting rooms, furniture and how the Royals lived while away from London or other castles and homes.
"GARDEN AND VIEW TO PORTSMOUTH"